Take Control of your Money
The answer to this question is different for all of us based on our circumstances and what we value. But here we'll explore the main options so you have the information you need to work out what insurance is appropriate for you.
Insurance is available for almost everything, so let’s focus on the main categories of cover:
An aspect of insurance that is common across pretty much all policy types is the exclusions and limits that apply. This means only eligible claims will be paid by the insurer.
This should all be outlined in the product disclosure statement (PDS) for the policy. Make sure you read this carefully so you know what you are and are not covered for.
Some policies types also come with an excess, which is the amount of money you will need to pay if you make a successful claim.
In this guide:
You can go directly to an insurance company to purchase a policy if you’re confident in what you are looking for and have compared your options.
Depending on the type of cover, it's often quick and easy to buy insurance direct from a provider online or over the phone.
Another option is speaking to an insurance broker.
Insurance brokers are professionals who help clients find appropriate insurance.
They usually work with a number of different insurance companies (but generally not all providers) and advise their clients on the most suitable options.
Some brokers charge clients a fee for the service they provide. Others get commission from the insurers and do not charge their clients.
Here's more info on some of the insurance options available to cover yourself and your family.
Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer. The insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the death of the policyholder.
Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal illness or critical illness can also trigger payment.
Make sure you understand the inclusions and exclusions of your policy fully.
Income protection insurance pays part of your lost income up to a maximum period of time if you're unable to work because of illness or injury.
There is usually a waiting period (e.g. four weeks, but it varies) meaning you will only receive a benefit after that period. Your emergency fund could be vital during the waiting period.
There are also exclusions to watch out for with income protection
Trauma insurance, also called 'critical illness' or 'recovery insurance' pays a lump sum amount if you suffer a critical illness or serious injury.
This may include cancer, a heart condition, major head injury or stroke. Trauma insurance does not cover mental health conditions.
Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance pays a lump sum if you become totally and permanently disabled because of illness or injury.
Each insurer has a different definition of what it means to be totally and permanently disabled.
Travel insurance is a way of covering yourself and your family for a range of unexpected events that could happen when travelling overseas or in Australia.
This may include covering cancellation costs, overseas medical or hospital bills, or the cost of replacing items that were lost or stolen during your trip.
Again, be sure to read up on the policy conditions and exclusions, including any that apply to COVID-related claims.
Private health insurance covers costs related to medical care and treatments. There are two kinds of policies:
Hospital cover which provides a financial contribution towards the cost of receiving treatment as a private patient in hospital.
Extras cover which contributes towards the cost of treatments not covered by Medicare carried out outside of hospital, such as physio treatment and dental procedures.
For each policy type there are a range of cover levels which include different kinds of treatments.
These are the main insurance options for your property.
There are many types of private motor vehicle insurance in Australia, such as comprehensive, third party property damage, third party property damage fire and theft, and compulsory third party (CTP) which differs in each state and territory.
Home insurance protects homeowners and landlords against property damage, loss or destruction. Policies may cover events including fire, theft, and natural disasters (e.g. floods).
This type of policy can insure your home to a predetermined amount known as the 'sum insured', or you may have the option of getting 'total replacement cover' which covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home to the same standard without there being a fixed amount.
Contents insurance covers your household items and personal belongings if they're damaged, lost or stolen. This can include the likes of your furniture, clothes, computer, fridge, television, tools and jewellery. If you own your home, you can bundle your contents insurance with your home insurance.
Insurance is all about protecting yourself financially from the unexpected. But there are other steps that you can consider to help set you and your family up financially for the future.
Wills are not just something to be taken care of later in life. Having one can be valuable for anyone over 18, whether you have dependants or not.
They are about making the distribution of assets after your death easier for your family and can help resolve complex legal issues or decisions.
A will is basically a legal document that expresses how you want your property to be distributed after your death and who you want to manage the property until it has been distributed.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (commonly known as an EPA) is a legal document that allows you to give another person, or organisation, the legal authority to make financial decisions on your behalf.
If you're not able to make decisions about your money for any reason, having a power of attorney ensures someone you trust can do it for you.
Important information: Any advice or information on this site is of a general nature only and has not taken into account your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. Because of that, before acting on the advice, you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation, and needs. Helen Baker is an Authorised Representative(s) of Godfrey Pembroke Group Pty Ltd ABN 38 078 629 973, AFSL number 245451, an Australian Financial Services Licensee, with offices at The Bond, Level 3, 30 Hickson Road, Millers Point NSW 2000.